Australia vs Spain World Cup 2014: End of an era for Vicente del Bosque's ageing former champions

David Villa definitely retiring and others may follow as Spain look for fresh start

Spain’s remarkable cycle of success came to an official close in Curitiba yesterday and the sense of an era ending was underlined by two men in particular – coach Vicente del Bosque and striker David Villa.

Del Bosque admitted after the 3-0 win over Australia that his future at the helm of the deposed world champions would be “known in the next week” as Spanish football looks to the future. Although Spain restored some pride following their opening Group B defeats against the Netherlands and Chile, this has been their worst World Cup campaign since 1998 and a brutal fall from grace after successive triumphs at Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

“We will talk and we’ll look for the best solution for Spanish football, without any drama,” said Del Bosque. “Today we complete six years where we have practically always been top of the FIFA ranking. It is a generation of footballers who have created a way of playing. On this occasion it was our turn to lose and we have to do so with our heads held high.”

“The future of the national team is in safe hands,” he added. “I think we have a good base and today you saw that.”

Spain’s valedictory victory came via goals from David Villa, Fernando Torres and substitute Juan Mata. In the case of Villa, Spain’s record scorer, his opening goal – a clever backheel finish – was the perfect way to sign off at the end of an international career that has brought 59 goals from 97 international appearances.

There were tears from Villa when he was substituted during the second half and he admitted it was hard shutting the door on playing for his country.

“I would like to play for the national team until I am 55 because I have always loved it, but I realise this is impossible,” said the 32-year-old, who will join Manchester City’s MLS franchise, New York City, from the start of the 2015 season.

“The World Cup has finished, I’ve taken the decision to go to the MLS and I won’t be playing for a few months. It is complicated. The normal thing is that it ends here. We will see after six months but I’ll keep on working as ever and if the manager wants me I’ll be delighted. That said, you have to be realistic.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement